Credit: NBA

FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Nuggets – 8/11/2020

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Los Angeles Lakers (52-18)  |  Denver Nuggets (46-25)

 

After losing three straight games, the Lakers showed once again why they are the top seed in a close game against the Nuggets.

 

It wasn’t easy, but the Los Angeles Lakers managed to put an end to their three-game losing streak with the narrow 124-121 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

 

Lakers vs Nuggets
Photo Credit: NBA

LeBron James led all scorers with 29 points, going 5-11 (45%) from the three. He also managed to throw 12 assists to complete the double-double performance.

Anthony Davis followed his lead with 27 points on 9-15 (60%) shooting from the floor. It may not be 40 points, but it is a massive step up compared to the six points he scored in the last outing.

Perhaps the hero of the night award belongs to Kyle Kuzma, who scored the game-winning three-pointer with just 0.4 remaining on the clock. Kuzma had himself his best performance yet in the bubble with 25 points on 11-16 (68.7) shooting from the field. He shot 3-5 (60%) from behind the arc, including that crucial game-winner.

 

 

Lakers vs Nuggets
Photo Credit: Silver Screen and Roll

Sharpshooter Danny Green also had himself his best game since arriving at the Walt Disney World campus with 11 points on 4-10 (40%) shooting, including 3-5 (60%) from beyond the arc. It goes without saying, but your chances of winning a game are far higher if four of the starters score in double figures compared to just one. (Only James scored in double figures in the loss to the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.)

Off the bench, Dion Waiters even got in on the action with 12 points, on 5-8 (62.5%) shooting.

For Denver, it was PJ Dozier off the bench, who led them in scoring with 18 points. Dozier shot 5-7 (71.4%) from the field and a perfect 2-2 from three.

 

 

The Nuggets‘ rising star Michael Porter Jr. had himself another impressive outing with 15 points on a perfect shooting night. He went 6-6 from the floor, including 3-3 from behind the arc.

 

 

Lakers vs Nuggets
Photo Credit: LA Times

Perhaps he could have scored more if he played more than 24 minutes. I am not sure why but Denver head coach Mike Malone decided not to play anyone more than 27 minutes, despite only being a half-game back behind the Los Angles Clippers for second place in the Western Conference.

However, even with all of their players getting less than 30 minutes, the Nuggets still managed to make it a close game. They showed how much depth they within their talented roster, with a balanced scoring attack. Eight of the ten players who received minutes finished in double figures.

All-Star center Nikola Jokic poured in 12 points, while sharpshooter Jamal Murray contributed 14 points in his second game back from injury.

 

 

Perhaps this should have been an easier win for the Lakers with Denver’s starters playing fewer minutes, but a win is a win and the Lake Show definitely needed one.

 

 

Although head coach Frank Vogel said he would experiment with the lineups a bit more in this game, the rotation did get cut down to 10 players. Jared Dudley, Quinn Cook, and JR Smith did not play in this game. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope sat this game out to rest his injured ankle. The rotation will look a bit different when he and Rajon Rondo return from injury.

The Lakers have one final seeding game against the Sacramento Kings, before waiting to see who they will face in the first round of the playoffs. Before the Lakers get any postseason action, they will have to see who prevails from a mini play-in series between the eight and nine seed. The teams currently in the running are the Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, and San Antonio Spurs.

 

 

The Lakers play again Thursday, August 13, against the Sacramento Kings. It’s an early one. You can watch the game at 10:30 am on Spectrum SportsNet.

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Isaiah Torres

Twitter: Isaiah_Torres24

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